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Library FAQs

Catalog: How do I find an item? | What is a "call number"? | What does "Library of Congress room" mean?

Circulation & Usage: Can I read the library's books and journals online? | How do I renew books online? | How do I access the databases? | Can I use the library if I'm not affiliated with the seminary? | Can I borrow or take journals out of the library? | Can I borrow or take reference books out of the library? | I'm an online student. What else do I need to know?

Facilities: Are cell phones allowed in the library? | Can I eat or drink in the library? | Do you have photocopiers?

Fines & Fees: Can I check out books if I have a fine? | How do I find out if I have a fine? | What if I lose a book? | What if I have a really huge fine?

Miscellaneous: Can I donate books? | Can you repair my book? | Can you bind my book for me?

Catalog

How do I find an item?

  1. Go to the online catalog
  2. Enter whatever information you have and select the appropriate search field (fields, if using the "builder search" option)
  3. If the library has a copy of what you're looking for, note the:
    1. location
    2. call number
    3. status (whether it is charged or available)
  4. If the library does not have a copy of what you're looking for, please see the information on interlibrary loans and our partner libraries

What is a "call number"?
The majority of our collection is cataloged according to the Library of Congress Classification. Each item receives a unique alphanumerical code known as a "call number", which looks like this:

BS << general subject code: in this case, The Bible
2775.3 << specific subject code: in this case, New Testament - Epistle to the Hebrews - Commentary
.M33 << identifies individual item by either author or title: in this case, MacArthur
1983 << date of publication

What does "Library of Congress room" mean?
To make locating items easier, each room in the library has a name. Because of the classification system used, the rooms in which the general collection is kept are numbered Library of Congress 1, 2 and 3.

Circulation & Usage

Can I read the library's books and journals online?
Some: all items marked "full text" on databases; a few magazines and journals, listed under online resources; a few older books available on books.google.com, although we currently don't have links to these.

How do I renew books online?

  1. Go to the online catalog
  2. Select the "patron" button below the top banner and enter the requested information from your library/student ID card
  3. Check the white boxes next to the items you want to renew under the "charged item" section, and click the "renew items" button
  4. Make sure the new date appears in the "status" column

How do I access the databases?
Students, staff, and faculty may login from anywhere; anyone else is welcome to access the databases from the computers in the Bound Periodical Room, here in the library.

Can I use the library if I'm not affiliated with the seminary?
Yes! If you're a missionary, in a leadership position at your church, or a student or faculty member of a SEPTLA or TCLC institution, just bring some form of photo ID and a letter of recommendation from your church or institution and we'll get you a library card so you can check out items. Even if you're not eligible for a library card, you're welcome to come use our internet connection and other resources here in the library.

Can I borrow or take journals out of the library?
Use of all printed journals is restricted to the library, but you can read the bound volumes in the Bound Periodical Room, or check out unbound issues and older bound journals from the circulation desk. For details, see circulation & usage.

Can I borrow or take reference books out of the library?
Only faculty members may remove reference books from the library, but you're welcome to use all reference materials for however long you need them while the library's open.

I'm an online student. What else do I need to know?
You find yourself in good company. About one-third of Biblical students take an online course at some point during their program. Here are some things to keep in mind if you rarely or never come to campus for class:

  1. You have remote access to both the catalog and online databases from any internet connection worldwide.
  2. If you are unable to obtain research materials through your local library, we will ship books held in our collection to your location. You will be responsible for returning books in a timely manner in addition to return shipping costs.
  3. If you need a book or journal article that Biblical's library does not own, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to request an interlibrary loan. For more information, see interlibrary loans.
  4. Although Biblical's library may be too far for you use on a regular basis, we are partners with a number of other libraries in the tri-state region, from which you can borrow books directly.
  5. The library staff are available in a variety of ways should you have research questions at any time during your online course. Call during open library hours at 800.235.4021 x123 or e-mail us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Check out the library blog for updated hours and current news.

Facilities

Are cell phones allowed?
Yes, but we ask that you use them only in the hallway, and in addition:

  1. Use low to normal conversational volume
  2. Silence ringers
  3. Keep conversations short
  4. Keep personal calls to a minimum

Can I eat or drink in the library?
Yes, but only in the hallway and the glassed-in study room.

Do you have photocopiers?
We have two: one in the hallway to the left of the circulation desk, the other in the bound periodical room. The copiers use an electronic key-card system and do not accept coins or cash. Key-cards can be purchased at the circulation desk.

Fines & Fees

Can I check out books if I have a fine?
Yes, as long as the fine is less than $5. However, if you are a student, you cannot receive your diploma or have transcripts sent to other schools as long as you have unpaid fines.

How do I find out if I have a fine?
You should receive a notification by email. But if you want to double-check,

  1. Go to the online catalog
  2. Select the "patron" button below the top banner and enter the requested information from your library/student ID card
  3. At the bottom of the patron information page is a section labeled "fines and fees". Anything you owe will be listed there

What if I lose a book?
You have two options: buy an exactly identical replacement copy and pay off any overdue fines, or pay a $35 replacement fee in addition to any overdue fines. For details, see fines & fees.

What if I have a really huge fine?
Talk to the library director. Depending on circumstances, some fines may be lessened or forgiven. And remember: you don't have to pay it off all at once.

Miscellaneous

Can I donate books?
Yes! We gladly accept book donations any time the library is open. If you have a large or specialized collection to donate, we suggest you contact the library first to set up a mutually convenient appointment. All donations are tax deductible.

Can you repair my book?
Please contact us about your specific circumstance. We may be able to assist with simple repairs.

Can you bind my book for me?
Again, contact us about your request well in advance. We may be able to include your book with our periodic bindery orders.

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